Joc Rock

Even with a game being played in Denver, do not forget about the Dodgers’ center fielder on Wednesday. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster.

Infield:

Nolan Arenado, Rockies, $9,300 – The obvious choice of infielder in Coors Field on Wednesday is to go back to the well with Paul Goldschmidt. The problem is that his price rose from an already ludicrous $11,000 to $11,800. It’s getting to a point where if you use him, you’ll almost assuredly have to punt a hitting spot. Instead of paying through-the-roof pricing to get a share of Coors, why not go the cheaper route instead? Facing a pitcher who doesn’t strike batters out (4.91 K/9 so far for starter Allen Webster), Arenado owns the lowest strikeout rate on the team of all healthy starters (Justin Morneau‘s was lower, but who knows if he’ll be back this season). If Arenado is going to make contact in the HR-friendly atmosphere of Coors Field, then I’ll trust him and his .383 wOBA against RHP to produce some power. Don’t be surprised if he makes it back-to-back games with a dinger after hitting two yesterday.

David Ortiz, Red Sox, $8,700 – Time to feast, David Ortiz, because Bud Norris is heading to town. Only Sean O’Sullivan has allowed a higher wOBA to left-handed hitters than Norris this season. Although lefties have only hit three HRs off of him, they are hitting a ridiculous .342 off of him with a .412 OBP. Ortiz has faced Norris 12 times in his career and produced three hits with one HR. The 30-year old version of Norris is much different than say, the 25-year old version that struck out over nine batters per nine innings. His strikeout rate is down to almost 6.5 per nine innings and his 7.57 ERA suggests he’s just begging to be replaced in the rotation. In other words, do not just look at the batter versus pitcher data because Ortiz would produce at a much higher rate against modern day Norris. As long as the Orioles continue to allow Norris to make starts, I’m going to keep throwing out hitters against him, and Ortiz is my number one choice in this Boston lineup.

Outfield:

Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins, $10,200 – On Tuesday, Giancarlo Stanton launched his major league leading 26th HR against right-handed starter Carlos Martinez. Clearly Stanton is a beast no matter who he faces, but he feasts at a whole different level versus lefties. After Tuesday’s bomb, Stanton had homered 18 times in 216 ABs versus RHP, or one every 12 ABs. Against LHP, he has launched eight into orbit in only 52 ABs, which equates to one HR every 6.5 AB. Jaime Garcia has pitched excellently since returning, as evident by his 1.76 ERA. However his unsustainable 81.9 left on-base percentage and peripheral numbers (FIP, xFIP) suggest he is in for a bit of a regression to the mean sometime soon. Stanton will be looking forward to delivering the regression personally off of the barrel of his bat. Start him as he’s quite obviously one of the biggest threats to go deep on Wednesday.

Joc Pederson, Dodgers, $8,400 – Of Joc Pederson‘s rookie-leading 19 HR so far this season, 16 of them have come against RHP. He has a .397 OBP versus righties and only a .375 OBP against lefties. His wOBA ranks 0.033 points higher and his ISO ranks 0.073 point higher against righties. This is a long-winded way of saying he prefers to hit against right-handers, and he’ll face one on Wednesday in the second most hitter-friendly park in baseball. Opposing starter Kyle Hendricks has allowed seven HR this season: four in 28.2 IP at home and three in 45.0 IP on the road. Putting it simply, they come more frequently in Wrigley Field. After an 0-fer performance on Tuesday, look for Pederson to bounce back in a big way, especially with hitter-friendly home plate umpire Jerry Meals calling balls and strikes. This feels like one of those games Pederson puts a big swing on one since he’s become kind of an all-or-nothing type hitter.

Pitcher:

Gerrit Cole, Pirates, $20,400 – In the game with the lowest over/under of the entire day, Gerrit Cole and the Pirates opened as -187 favorites. It’s no surprise, because through 91.0 IP this season, Cole still sports a 1.78 ERA. Among all qualified starting pitchers, Cole’s 9.6 K/9 ranks 13th and his 4.41 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks 20th. He’s simply doing everything right this season and has put it all together like the Pirates believed he would when they selected him with the number-one overall pick. He’ll face the Reds at home on Wednesday, which isn’t the greatest matchup. Though they rank 18th in wOBA, they strike out the eighth-least against RHP. Even if the Reds put the ball in play, PNC Park ranks as a bottom-seven hitters park over the past two seasons and the second-worst home run park. If Cole is able to keep the ball in the yard against the Reds middle of the order, there should be absolutely no fear in using him.

Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals, $15,000 – With Freddie Freeman landing on the disabled list on Tuesday afternoon, the matchup against the Braves becomes very different. Freeman is both the team’s career and season wOBA leader by a large margin. He leads the team with a .381 career wOBA, while Nick Markakis sits second with .355 for his career. For the season, Freeman leads the team with a .396 RHP wOBA with Markakis second at .348. Take away the team’s main weapon and they actually become an appealing team to target a starting pitcher against. Zimmermann isn’t a spectacular pitcher, but he is solid. A pitcher of this caliber is appealing on this slate. There are no studs besides Cole, so Zimmermann, a -155 favorite at home in a game with an over/under of seven, feels like a safe pitcher to pair him with in cash games.

Roenis Elias, Mariners, $14,700 – Facing the Royals can be a risky proposition, so Roenis Elias is best left for tournaments, but several attributes of the matchup are appealing. First and foremost he’ll have the benefit of pitching in Safeco Field, where he has unsurprisingly pitched better than on the road (3.06 home ERA versus 4.00 on the road). Although the Royals rank in the top ten of wOBA and do not strike out much, they do not walk much either. Walks can be an issue for Elias at times, so knowing that likely won’t be a concern (along with Greg Gibson as a friendly pitcher’s umpire) eases some of the worry. The Royals also have the fourth-least amount of implied runs according to Vegas. “Implied runs” simply means converting the over/under and the moneyline into a projected score… and the Royals are projected to score 3.4 runs. If Elias pitches to contact, the ballpark is forgiving and the team owns a top-eight fielding percentage. Even with the tough opponent draw, there is reason to have faith in the Mariner lefty.

Ryan Vogelsong, Giants, $12,400 – Madison Bumgarner absolutely shut down the Padres for seven innings on Tuesday before they scored two runs against him in the eighth. The game ended as a no-decision for MadBum, but he deserved better. The Padres are supposed to be better equipped to hit lefties than righties according to their statistics so far this year. If that was the best effort they could muster against the lefty (mind you, he was a very good one), what are they going to do against the righty? Okay, so I am completely under-selling the talent discrepancy between Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong, but I like his prospects nevertheless. AT&T Park ranks as a bottom-three hitters park and the Padres rank as bottom-three team in wOBA against RHP (tied with the Brewers). They also rank bottom-10 in wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP and line drive percentage, while striking out 22.30 percent of the time versus RHP (fifth-most in baseball). Their three best hitters (Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Derek Norris) all have career splits that favor mashing against LHP. All these facts blended together spits out a “Vogelsong-makes-an-excellent-punt-on-Wednesday” flavored smoothie.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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